Murderess is too harsh a word

White-washing is too harsh a word for what is being done in the appended article.  Still, what Mary Dejevsky of the Independent does in her article is rationalize that a woman who murders her four-year-old daughter should be exonerated.

She argues that a mother must have been overloaded with work and snapped under the stress of that.  It does not seem that Mary Dejevsky or any other journalist ever argued that such reasoning should apply when men murder or even only merely commit manslaughter or perhaps do nothing more than yell at their wives.

For all of her sympathy towards the murdering mama, Mary Dejevsky uses a clear double standard: When a woman murders, she deserves sympathy for not fitting the image of women that would better belong on a pedestal, while when men murder or merely use any non-fatal violence against a women there is no excuse.

Independent

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Murderess is too harsh a word

By Mary Dejevsky

You don’t often hear the word “murderess” these days; it has gone the way of “actress” and other gender-specific nouns deemed somehow to demean the individual concerned. Except that in the case of “murderess”, the gender specificity seems rather to magnify the vilification, and I wager it will be used, if it hasn’t been already, to describe Joanne Hill, the woman just sentenced by Chester Crown Court to 15 years’ imprisonment for killing Naomi, her four-year-old child.

Mrs Hill was 32, had a chequered psychiatric history, and had pleaded diminished responsibility. But two considerations surely sealed her fate. One was the recording of her police interview, where she recounted, second by chilling second, how she took her reluctant daughter for a bedtime bath, fully intending to do what she did, and forced the child’s head under the water until she died….(Full Story)

A pro-woman bias, although pervasive in the media, is not confined to the media.  It is most prominent in the judiciary, who generally exonerate women for crimes for which, if perpetrated by men, men serve serious and long sentences.

Consider the case of a “28-year-old Sioux Falls woman will not do further jail time for having sex with a boy half her age.”

Circuit Judge Brad Zell said a pre-sentencing investigation determined West does not have the characteristics of a child predator.

“This is an act that is uncharacteristic of yourself,” Zell said….(Full Story)

And what about the case of the “Denver mom charged in sex assault on son, 2”?

Alicia Lee of Denver took photos of herself performing oral sex on her child and then e-mailed them to a friend in April, according to an arrest affidavit….

In a message the next day, she wrote, “DID IT!!././.He giggled a lot. I think it tickled him. I will try again tomorrow. I think if I do it enough he will get use (sic) to it.”….

Lee is free on $50,000 bond and due in court Monday for formal advisement on the charges….(Full Story)

What will her sentence be?  Will it be as severe as that of a dad who committed a crime of comparable severity?  If a father had done something like it, he would in all likelihood be sitting in jail until found guilty, and then for quite a few years more.

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